A few years ago, I traveled to Portland and Seattle and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. I vowed to return and was so excited when Mike recommended Oregon as our next vacation. Together, we traveled almost 1300 miles - down the Oregon Coast, through the California Redwoods, to Crater Lake, and into the cities of Bend and Portland. We even got the chance to visit a few restaurants I had loved on my first visit. I'm so excited to share our trip - and as always, am happy to answer your questions about this magical part of the United States.
When: Depending on your plans, I would suggest this trip between June and September to get the best weather. It's important to note that Crater Lake still had 13 foot snow drifts when we were there at the end of May - and they don't usually finish clearing the Rim Road until the end of June / middle of July. We were still able to visit (the Lodge opened on May 24th) - but it was definitely chilly and none of the hiking trails were cleared so we couldn't do much exploring.
"God's Thumb" Hike
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Redwood National Park
Saturday: We left o
Sunday: We slept in this morning and made our way to breakfast inside the Charmant Hotel. I had made a reservation through OpenTable and we were seated promptly. We probably would have been find without a reservation on our visit, but on busier weekends, I assume there's a longer wait. The Cornmeal Pancakes and Croque Madame Tartine were both delicious. Our waitress mentioned that the toppings on their Cornmeal Pancakes change with the season - but that wouldn't change my mind about ordering them again. The building was once an old candy factory, and sits on the site of the first building in La Crosse. It felt as though there was a new surprise behind every corner - an adorable coffee shop, a charming parlour room, and a fabulous rooftop. They also do a great job showcasing the city's history and using local vendors for art and menu ingredients. I didn't want to leave!
We left the Charmant, strolled through at Riverside Park, and stopped into the Bodega Brew Pub to grab a pint and watch some Sunday football. My guy is a die hard Vikings fan so after cheering them on to a win against the Jets, we left La Crosse for the final stop on our getaway - Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm in Waseca, MN! We easily could have came back the same way we got there, but I'm all for a change in scenery a
Where to Stay: My philosophy when traveling is to find an affordable option that's in a central, easy to access location. The reality is that I tend to spend very little time in my hotel room because I prefer to be out exploring. We stayed at the Candlewood Suites La Crosse and found our stay to be very pleasant. If you're looking to spice up your vacation by staying somewhere local, I'd recommend looking at the following places:
The Charmant Hotel in La Crosse, WI
Carriage House Bed & Breakfast in Winona, MN
Hawk's View Cottages & Lodges in Fountain City, WI
St. James Hotel in Red Wing, MN
Round Barn Farm in Red Wing, MN
Next Time: With limited time, there were a few things I wasn't able to cross of my list, so I'm already looking forward to going back!